8 Steps to Ensure Campus SaVE Act Compliance by October 1


On October 1, colleges and universities submitting their Annual Security Reports (ASRs) under the Clery Act must also comply with the requirements of the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act (Campus SaVE Act). As part of the revised Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), the Campus SaVE Act expands the information institutions must publish in their annual crime reports to include acts of domestic violence, dating violence and stalking, and imposes new disciplinary and educational requirements regarding sexual misconduct and related offenses.

Despite a lack of final regulatory guidance from the U.S. Department of Education (ED), institutions must show they have made their "best efforts" to comply with the Campus SaVE Act in their ASRs.

To ensure Campus SaVE Act compliance by October 1, here are eight steps institutions can take to incorporate its provisions into their policies and procedures:

  1. Publicize the Campus SaVE Act as widely as possible. Compliance requires campus-wide collaboration involving everyone from students, faculty and campus security to human resources and institutional officials.
  2. Compile statistics for the three newly reportable crimes — domestic violence, dating violence and stalking — and two new hate-crime bias classifications — national origin and gender identity.
  3. Review existing sexual-violence prevention and awareness programs and make any required adjustments.
  4. Ensure that incoming students and new employees receive sexual-violence prevention and awareness training, while maintaining ongoing awareness campaigns for all students and faculty.
  5. Update student disciplinary procedures and provide specialized Campus SaVE Act training for officials on the new requirements for investigating and conducting student disciplinary proceedings.
  6. Prepare written explanations of victim-support services and accommodation options, and implement a policy requiring that these written communications be available to all students, employees and victims.
  7. Establish procedures to keep the names of victims confidential in publicly available records and disciplinary proceedings to the extent permissible by law.
  8. Revise and update the policy statements included in ASRs to describe specific policies, procedures and programming to address domestic violence, dating violence, stalking and sexual assault. Finally, although the Campus SaVE Act does not prescribe a particular standard of proof for internal disciplinary proceedings related to sexual assault or other forms of sexual misconduct, institutions must specify the standard they will use. Given that the Act codifies many of the provisions of the April 2011 "Dear Colleague" letter (DCL) addressing Title IX compliance issued by the ED’s Office for Civil Rights institutions should consider using the "preponderance of the evidence" standard outlined in the DCL.

With the October 1 deadline approaching, institutions should already be updating their policies and procedures to bring them in line with the Campus SaVE Act. Part of this process is ensuring all relevant campus parties understand their reporting responsibilities. Thomson Reuters' online Campus Safety training course and online Title IX training course explain the essential requirements of the Clery Act and the SaVE Act provisions so that all campus faculty and staff understand their role in addressing and preventing sexual misconduct. Online compliance training is an easy and effective way to update faculty, staff and students on the law's requirements and avoid violations of the new law.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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